documenting devices that require non-free firmware on Linux

Felipe Sanches juca at
Sun Mar 7 02:41:48 UTC 2010

>> =Where are the non-free firmware images made available?=
>> (usually here we would want an url to the manufacturer's firmware
>> download webpage)
> Should we be linking to this? It seems contrary to the guidelines used
> for all other projects related to gnu.

yes. I know the guidelines disallow it. But in this specific case, I
think that it is important to have this info. Because it can help
developers of the free alternatives since access to the non-free
firmware is a pre-requisite for reverse engineering it. Also,
developers might want to run the driver using the non-free firmware to
better understand how the device works. "The only legitimate use of
non-free software is in the development of its free replacement." was
once said to me by Alexandre Oliva.

I doubt normal users would use these wiki-pages to download non-free
firmware. Users that install non-free firmware usually do not use a
free distro, and so it is much easier to them to install the non-free
firmware package available in their distro repositories instead of
accessing our wiki page for that. And if they do, they'll end up
reading all the info we are gathering here, and hopefully understand
what's going on.

-- Felipe Sanches

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